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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
The Observer

'Boys will be boys'

The phrase “boys will be boys” has been long overused by many in today’s popular culture. The term often goes hand in hand with the thought that “boys will be boys and their hormones control their mind and body.” But I ask, how could anyone say that with such confidence? Every human being has hormones, both men and women. I’m not sure about you but my hormones do not send messages to my brain saying, “Go sexually assault someone, no matter what.” Hormones do not cause people to commit acts of sexual violence. But, how did we, as a society, end up having imbecilic phrases that clearly take blame off the male perpetrator?

We live in a world that produces mainstream “rape culture” media. Rape culture can be defined as the normalization of rape or other acts of sexual violence, usually depicted as male dominance over the female body. Think back to your favorite crime show. Often, the go-to storyline is, “a woman was violently raped.” Noticed how I phrased that? Another way media normalizes rape is taking the perpetrator out altogether from a crime. Rather than saying, “the perpetrator raped her,” or “the perpetrator committed a crime,” media often writes about the crime in a manner that seems to be induced by the victim: “The woman was raped,” or “A woman had a crime acted upon her.”

Now, here comes the disturbing part. Think of one of your favorite romantic comedies. Girl and guy fall in love and end up having sex. Next time, take a closer look at the sex scene (whoa, that’s something you don’t hear every day at a Catholic school). I’m serious though. How do the scenes start off? The man usually goes in for a hard kiss. Suddenly, the man slams the woman either up against the wall or onto a bed while ripping her clothes off. The woman never has a chance to say, “Take it easy,” or “No thank you!” Take the rom-com effect away from this scene and replace it with a SVU storyline: “Woman had her body thrown across the room while the man violently ripped her clothes off.” The same exact acts are happening. Rape culture normalization, my friend.

Rather than continuing to be angry with those who have used the phrase I mentioned, I pity them. I pity them for acceptance and use of the phrase. I pity them for the reason that we all will be continuously bombarded with rape normalization. However, I do not pity their ignorance. No. To pity ignorance gives power to the issue. We as Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students cannot allow this power to reign. Rape will stop once we teach that excuses do not count as permission to perpetrate evil.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.